Why does my broadband slow down in the evening?

Many people complain that their broadband or internet seems to slow down in the evening and often this is true. The issue is that most broadband providers ‘contend’ their services for capacity reasons which means if everyone uses it at the same time there will not be enough capacity. This is how internet access is made affordable for home users, the providers bet that everyone won’t need it at the same time (a bit like a motorway with everyone at rush hour)

Evenings are generally peak time for home broadband usage with more people at home. The problem has become worse as streaming has become more popular with services such as BBC iPlayer and all this simultaneous demand simply exceeds the capacity at the local exchange leading to a drop in performance for all users. More expensive broadband services use a lower contention ratio which mitigates this problem.

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